Muele Wilcox, 26, is a senior associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. She speaks about the intricacies of her job
What stirred your interest in accounting?
When I was much younger, I enjoyed going with my mum to the bank because I loved the way bankers were always on top of their numbers. It intrigued me and it stirred the interest in me. Also, I love numbers, checks and balances.
What schools did you attend?
I attended the University of Port Harcourt, Port Harcourt.
As a senior associate, what is your job description?
I am in assurance, which is like an audit unit in other firms. Basically, I lead teams that carry out statutory audit, control testing, financial system preparation and other values for money. On a regular day, I ensure that my team understands their deliverables within their financial statement. Also, we research on ways to understand what the standard requires for our clients.
What is your job history?
I worked in the Finance Unit of the Uyo Local Government Area, Akwa Ibom State, during my National Youth Service programme. I also worked at the mobile banking unit of Access Bank as a product manager for about one month. Then, I joined PwC in 2014.
What aspect of your career do you enjoy the most and why?
I will say meeting people; I have been exposed to working with so many industry players. These are people that I would probably not have had the opportunity to interact with and gain insights from. I also enjoy building lasting relationships.
What are some of the highlights of your career?
My current role right now is like an assistant manager. I would say that I have had a very fast growth in my career. In four years, I am already an assistant manager and I can be a manager in no time with my continuous hard work. Last year, I was nominated to travel to South Africa to represent my unit. It was a young professional conference and the invitation was strictly based on ones performance.
Was there any particular incident that changed the course of your life?
I would say it was my move from Access Bank to PwC. After my training, I was moved to mobile banking but I wasn’t satisfied because I wanted to explore my love for numbers. Then, when I got to PwC, I had the opportunity to soar.
What lessons have you learnt in the course of your career and life in general?
Firstly, it is being able to take ownership of every decision I make. Though sometimes, things happen and you might be undecided. Then, you need to take and trust your decision. I have learnt to speak up because there might be things that you know you can do but when you don’t speak up, such opportunities might just pass you by. Also, I have learnt to have a clear communication with people and share my ideas.
What challenges do you face on your job and how do you surmount them?
My major challenge is the ability to balance my job and my personal life. It is a very big challenge but I have started speaking up more often. If something is not working for me, I speak up to my managers. It is not just about speaking up, it is communicating my personal goals to them and they will try and make that flexible enough for me to work.
Aside from being an accountant, what other interest do you have?
I love volunteering. I do a lot of empowerment activities for my company and I belong to some non-governmental organisations. I also love to travel.
How have you been able to drive social changes towards youth development, health awareness and poverty alleviation through empowerment?
I work with several NGOs and we focus on poverty alleviation awareness. We empower youths through skill acquisition, workshops and other ways to educate them. We have also had some health campaigns where we provided free healthcare services to some patients in the hospital. I feel that everyone has a role to play in making the country better. Although it is the responsibility of the government to provide social amenities for its citizens, we as citizens can still do a little in our own way. Then, we would make life better for those who are not as privileged as we are. Every December, we go to remote communities in Lagos to share love.
Who would you say has influenced your life?
I don’t really know.
What is your definition of success?
Success to me is happiness. It is whatever makes you happy.
How would you advise youths to follow their passion?
Firstly, I will tell them not to be afraid. They should know what they want and go for it. I was in Access Bank, which is a very good place to be but I wanted more. I still went ahead to get what I wanted. Put your best into everything you do even if it looks bleak. Treat what you have to do like it is a competition because it will make people rely on your output every time. Also, be knowledgeable; always learn a thing or two about what you are passionate about. Take away any thought of entitlement because nobody owes you anything. I didn’t know anybody when I left Port Harcourt for Lagos. I just applied online and got the jobs. Copyright PUNCH.
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